Nimodipine helps to prevent changes in brain function due to the lack of oxygen in people who have a burst blood vessel in the brain. Nimodipine relaxes the blood vessels and this helps improve blood circulation in the brain, allowing the brain tissue to heal better.
Take Nimodipine exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
If you have been given the tablet form, swallow it whole. Take it consistently either always with or always without food.
If you have been given the solution or capsule form, take it on an empty stomach 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals.
Try to take it at the same time each day.
If you cannot swallow the capsule or if you are on a feeding tube, you may extract the contents of the capsule and administer it through a feeding tube. Ask your nurse to show you how to do this. Using an 18-gauge needle, make a hole in both ends of the capsule. Extract the contents of the capsule with a syringe and transfer it into the feeding tube. Follow with 30 mL of normal saline to ensure that all the medicine is washed into the stomach. Make sure the syringe is labelled properly as "For oral use only. NOT for injection". The contents of the capsule must never be injected.
Nimodipine must be taken regularly for it to work well. Continue taking Nimodipine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by your doctor.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you:
- had a heart attack less than 1 month ago
- are taking rifampicin and medicines for epilepsy (Please see the section “Can I take this with other medicines?” below for more information.)
as Nimodipine may not be suitable for you.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- liver disease
- kidney disease
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you are going for an operation, including minor surgery and dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are taking Nimodipine.
Nimodipine may cause dizziness. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert. You may feel dizzy when getting up from a sitting or lying down position. It will help if you get up slowly.
Nimodipine may also cause headache, flushing, fast heartbeat and swelling of the ankles, feet or hand. To reduce swelling in the ankles or feet, elevate your legs by putting a pillow under your feet when lying down.
Other side effects include any of the following: nausea and stomach discomfort.
Some side effects may be serious, although they are not common. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience:
- irregular heartbeat
- unusual bleeding or bruising (thrombocytopenia)
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- rifampicin (medicine to treat TB - lung infection known as tuberculosis)
- medicines for epilepsy (fits) e.g. phenytoin, carbamazepine, phenobarbital, valproate
- medicines to treat fungal infection e.g. itraconazole, ketoconazole
- medicines for HIV infection e.g. indinavir, ritonavir
- antibiotics e.g. erythromycin, clarithromycin
- cimetidine (gastric medicine)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Nimodipine.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicine, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Avoid alcohol and grapefruit juice.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.